In this page you will find some advice that will help you write a more solid paper. These come from our experience of reading a good number of student submissions, and consequently putting them through the review process. They also come from discussing this issue with some members of our scientific board, who have a lot of experience in reviewing papers, and who have always been very supportive of this project. If you follow these pieces of advice, you will avoid a number of errors that students commonly do when submitting their first papers.
Do not just adapt an essay that you wrote, even if you received a very good grade. Most reviewers will immediately spot if the submitted paper is from a student, and if it was an essay, written for another purpose, that has been adapted to be submitted to the journal. Most, if not all, the essays you wrote will not have been of the research depth that a paper requires. You will need to 'paperize' your work, to develop your initial research in a way that a two-thousand word essay will not regularly allow you. If you looked at two or three different sources, now try to get your hands on every relevant source you can find. Have you read two or three different pieces of scholarship on the subject? Dig deeper into the relevant scholarship for your topic. Delve further into your topic, and try to look at it from different perspectives to develop your arguments, situate them among the existent scholarship and present your conclusions.
Take the time and do the work. Writing a good paper requires a considerable amount of time, and there are no shortcuts. We understand the anxiety of having a paper published, of seeing your name in print, of feeling like a ‘real’ classicist. However, if you do not take the time to build a solid research, that dream might not come true.
Do not over-complicate the writing. There might be a temptation to complicate the way you express yourself to sound more academic. That is a mistake. Your paper should be written in a clean, simple way. A good way to test how comprehensible your writing is, is to ask a friend, with no knowledge of your topic, to read it. It should be in some way understandable both to the classics academic and the ‘layperson’.
Start from the primary sources and not from the scholarship on those sources. It is crucial to have a good understanding of the texts, or other type of evidence that you are exploring, and that knowledge needs to be perceptible in your words. We are by no means saying that you should not engage with relevant scholarship - you most definitely need to – but you should base your research on the actual primary evidence.
These are the advises that we wanted to share with you. Please do keep them in mind when writing your paper, because it will maximize your opportunities of passing through the review process, not only in this journal but in any journal. However, these only focus on the process of research and the writing of the paper. There are a number of formal guidelines that you need to follow to publish on NEO.